Kazim Ali

The Citadel of Whispers

Saturday, October 16, 2021 • Fine Arts Center • 2:00pm

Kazim Ali’s brand new YA book The Citadel of Whispers (ChooseCo), published in the classic Choose Your Own Adventure gamebook format, takes inspiration from the many global youth activists working to enact positive social and political change, from Greta Thunberg to Autumn Peltier to the Parkland teens. The characters engage in diplomacy, intrigue, and activism in order to create a better world. In what ways might YA speculative and interactive fiction help to create political agency? At this special TCBF event, Ali will also discuss his hybrid journalism/memoir title Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water (Milkweed), a book that looks at the survivance of an indigenous First Nation in the face of Canadian hydroelectric development. As resistance builds to the construction of Line 3, a double-capacity pipeline bearing tar sands across the North American continent from Alberta to Lake Superior, it is not just the stories that we tell that are important, but how we tell them. 

Poet, editor, and prose writer Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian, Iranian and Egyptian descent. He received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an M.F.A. from New York University. His books encompass multiple genres, including several acclaimed volumes of poetry, most recently The Voice of Sheila Chandra; novels such as The Secret Room: A String Quartet; and books of nonfiction, ranging from Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice to the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps, & Calligraphies. Ali is also an accomplished translator and has edited several anthologies; after a career in public policy and organizing he turned to teaching and is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.

Hours & Location

Saturday, October 16, 2021
10am to 5pm • Free!

Minnesota State Fairgrounds
Progress Center and Fine Arts Building
1265 Snelling Ave N
St Paul, MN 55108